Letters: Gun violence, Puerto Rico, council meetings, and more

Sep 19, 2018

Gun violence at football game and the chaos that ensues

 

It wasn’t supposed to be a night of fear. Friday night was a Mariner vs. Kamiak tailgate, a game full of cheering and fun. My fellow Knights were there to support our team; win or lose, pep was up. The beat of the show band drum set the tempo for our hearts, and the air shook with joy and happiness.

That was, until the 4th quarter when the words “gunshot” and “parking lot” rapidly spread across the stadium. Within seconds, the crowd’s cries of fun turned to panic and despair; at that moment, the memories of the last two hours vanished.

The holistic communal cheer was replaced by a self-centered incentive: to survive amidst the confusion and chaos. Fans sprinted out of the stadium; I myself looked for adults, coaches, parents, even ASB representatives to help control the growing mob of fearful kids, and to my dismay and despair, there were none to help. And so, kids ran into the night, into the streets, not knowing what was happening around them.

After listening to various accounts from friends, I understand that I was not the only one overwhelmed by fear and confusion. My cousin, a freshman at Kamiak, spoke of students being trampled under the fleeing mob, of kids running directly towards the crime scene.

Friends heard from police officers that someone was shot and killed, directly countering the news reports and propelling even more anxiety and rumors amongst students.

Before we go any further in attempts to change gun policy and gang violence in our community, we must take steps to ensure the safety of our students, in school and at all events related to it.

If my friends and fellow Knights were aided by school administrators, police officers, and other officials, we would have been able to stay calm in this emergency, and such chaos as was displayed would not have ensued.

We shouldn’t have to have drills, but we need them. Security doesn’t come from avoiding problems that haven’t happened; it comes from being prepared in the event of an emergency, no matter how unlikely they are.

 

Madeleine Reed

Kamiak student

 

Feeling thankful!

 

When the Mukilteo Historical Society selected me as the 2018 Pioneer of the Year I don’t think they realized that they do much more than gather and preserve our Mukilteo History. THEY MAKE MEMORIES!

My entire family and I will forever treasure the time we spent together celebrating this marvelous occasion. Thank you Mukilteo Historical Society!

I was fortunate to share this honor with the 2018 Citizen of the Year Nhi Pham. I felt an instant connection to her as if I had known her forever and because of her I have some fabulous photos to remember the day. Thank you Nhi!

My heart is overflowing with blessings and thanks because of the army of people that it took to make everything perfect in every way for this life changing event.  Each and every one of you have made a print on my heart that will last a lifetime.

Thank you all!

 

Sharon Bridget Waddell Freeman

2018 Pioneer of the Year

Everett

 

A different truth about Puerto Rico

 

The Beacon’s extensive coverage of Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self’s visit to Puerto Rico is a personal story with a political agenda. Ortiz-Self condemns the current president and Congress for Puerto Rico’s struggle to recover from last year’s hurricanes.

I would like to point out that she omits several important facts that tell a different truth.

First, Puerto Rico is a sovereign, self-governing commonwealth since 1952, under the security protection of the United States. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but pay no federal income tax, do not vote in our elections, and have no members in our Congress. Five times its citizens have voted “no” to statehood.

Second, The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, aka “The Jones Act,” regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and coastlines. In 98 years, no congress of either party has chosen to rescind the Jones Act. It is unfair to blame the current president and congress for this policy, which delayed foreign ships from entering Puerto Rico’s ports immediately after the storms. President Trump lifted the policy after clearance from U.S. naval authorities.

Third, in 2017, hurricane preparations by the Puerto Rico government were grossly inadequate, and much of the obsolete electrical grid was down before the storms hit. It took months to replace and restore new systems. In that time, hundreds of vulnerable people died. This August, the official death toll is 2,975.

Fourth, because Puerto Rico is an island, the logistics of getting communication, air and ground transportation open for rescuers was daunting. FEMA was heavily committed to the California wildfires at the time.

Fifth, since 2000, Puerto Rico’s legislature has repeatedly adopted bloated budgets which mostly paid for high government salaries and pensions to the neglect of public works and debt service. Today, Puerto Rico’s default on its creditors and bondholders exceeds 74 Billion dollars.

Puerto Rico’s last two governors begged The U.S. Congress for a bailout. In 2017, Congress refused to pass that debt onto American taxpayers. Instead, Congress installed a Fiscal Oversight Board to supervise and force budget restructure.

Puerto Rico has survived the hurricanes of 2017, but it may not survive the devastating financial crisis it brought on itself. Any political condemnation for its plight belongs on Puerto Rico officials and the citizens who elected them - not on our president, our congress, or the political opponents of Rep. Ortiz-Self, as she has unfairly depicted.

 

Patricia Morrison

Mukilteo

 

City Ghost Hall

 

I attended the latest City Council meeting. There I saw yourself, the editor, taking notes and comprehending the entirety of the dialogues. Also present was ex-councilmember Charlie Pancerzewski, who arrives at every meeting.

But it is a real, civil crime of inaction that almost nobody shows up to our twice-monthly City Council meetings. I notice that many people who ran for election last year do not show up on any regular basis.

Despite a steady stream of political letters to our Beacon, despite a dramatic campaign during last summer's elections, nobody shows up! Please do not run for City Council if you cannot show up to these meetings!

I petition our community to come, and just listen to the discourse, which is occurring lately between our representatives.

And I ask the editor to continue his astute reporting, and to feature the meeting times on the front page: rumors of mishandling of public funds, continued statements of "No Confidence" in our mayor.

 

Donald Fossedal

Mukilteo

 

Thumbs up for Sage & Cinder

 

My wife and I just enjoyed a truly wonderful sampling of menu items at the recently opened Sage & Cinder restaurant.

The cuisine, clientele and waitstaff are a welcome addition to the Mukilteo restaurant scene. A diverse and engaging menu of vegan delights!

Well done Cynthia, keep the sustainable ideology coming!

 

Brett and Livia Tuttle

Mukilteo

 

Streetlights of Mukilteo

 

To quote from the fantastic book and TV series, Game of Thrones, "the night is dark, and full of terrors."

Today, I write of lighting on city sidewalks, and public transit. I ride Community Transit everywhere, in the earliest hours and the latest hours (weekdays, 5-6 a.m., last bus 11 p.m.-ish). For a city known for its lighthouse, we have a noticeable lack of bright light on our sidewalks.

Our city sidewalks are not well lit enough for the bus stops. I have been passed by, multiple times, at night, while waiting at bus stops, anywhere from the stop at Mukilteo Library heading south, or the stop in front of Endeavor Elementary, also heading south.

The stop across from Rosehill Community Center, also heading south, (on Mukilteo Speedway) is also dark. I have advocated, successfully, for things like trashcans, and cantilevered seats, at several bus stops (though more would help). But I have been unsuccessful in my multiple attempts for better street lighting, in communications with Community Transit and the city of Mukilteo.

This issue does not only affect me.

It affects the children of Mukilteo who ride the bus. I have lived most of my life in Mukilteo. I was, not so long ago, one of those children, riding the bus to Columbia Elementary, Harbour Pointe Middle School, and Kamiak High School.

It affects the elderly of Mukilteo, who ride the bus. Buses can be one of the main lifelines for the elderly.

It affects those with disabilities.

It affects our tourists and visitors.

Based on degrees of separation, it impacts all citizens of Mukilteo. We have essentially one main bus route, the 113, which comes every 30 minutes at peak times, and every hour in non-peak. Our tax dollars pay for city streets and sidewalks, and Community Transit.

I cannot be alone in my experience. Let me state that I appreciate our bus drivers.

However, please, if the lack of lighting on the streets has affected you, mention it. If you too have been passed by a bus driver who has not been able to see you in the dark of night, mention it. We do not need to silently suffer the indignity and danger of walking our dark streets.

This brings to mind the Latin motto of my Alma Mater, the University of Washington, which is “Lux Sit,” or, "let there be light."

 

Matthew FitzGerald

Mukilteo

Comments (1)
Posted by: Joe Kunzler | Sep 19, 2018 12:21

Donald;

Great letter!  I wish I could make the meetings but they end very late on a Monday and I don't drive.  Which means an expen$ive cab ride.

It's bad enough I'm like the second or third private citizen to attend Community Transit Board Meetings this year.  3 PM, First Thursday of the month, visit https://www.communitytransit.org/about/meetings for details.

Joe



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